Edgar Rohrer Heckman (1875-1948)

Edgar Rohrer Heckman, 1897

Edgar Rohrer Heckman was born on February 11, 1875 to Isaac and Annie T. Heckman, in Ennisville, Pennsylvania. He attended the Williamsport Dickinson Seminary and then enrolled at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in the fall of 1894. He quickly became an active student. By 1896, he was the recording secretary of the Belles Lettres Literary Society and was selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, focusing his academics in Latin and history. He was also a successful athlete -- as a junior he stood at 5' 11" and 185 pounds -- and played four years on the football team. He was captain of his class baseball team, and an enthusiastic gymnast. Nicknamed "Heck," he also became a member of the fraternity Phi Kappa Sigma.

Heckman received his A.B. in 1897 and took a post for three years as a teacher of Latin and history at the Dickinson Preparatory School. In 1900 he became the Methodist pastor at Town Hill, Pennsylvania. This heralded a series of appointments which included district superintendent of the Harrisburg area and minister to the Allison Church in Carlisle from 1929 to 1932 and the Pennsylvania State College. His last post before his retirement was at the Methodist Home for the Aged in Tyrone, Pennsylvania from 1937 to 1947. He received an honorary D.D. from Dickinson in 1917.

Heckman maintained a close association with James Henry Morgan, who asked him to join the Board of Trustees in 1920. He was to serve until his death, much of the time serving as secretary. In 1900, Heckman had married Anna Mabel Geiger, a classmate of Heckman's. She was a member of the Gamma Zeta sorority and the Harman Literary Society. Anna was a teacher and had an active career in the church as well, serving for many years as the Conference Secretary of the Woman's Home Missionary Society. The couple had three daughters, Dorothy Anna, Nellie Elizabeth (Mrs. Edwin C. Jefferies), class of 1930, and Mary Louise, class of 1933.

On the night of May 24, 1948, the Heckmans' car collided with two others in a rain storm near Millerstown, Pennsylvania; Edgar was killed instantly and Anna died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital at Lewistown. They had been returning from the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Church.

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Dickinson College Archives
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